Once in a very long while, with some zeal to travel & explore and lots of luck we get to visit places like these.
Places which leave an impression of permanent pleasure and bliss.
These are the sights which inspire us to explore this beautiful world even more.
The winds that blew there will always stay in your mind and the feel of the beautiful nature will keep mesmerizing you forever!!
You get a strange feeling when you leave such places, Like you will not only miss the people, place and surroundings But you will miss the person you were then, at that time and at that place...
Because you will never be that way again !!!
~ The Himalayan Backpacking Days Of Life ~Richa
We all grew up listening to the stories of the far away land situated amongst the holy Himalayas and the people out there with loving hearts and compassionate sounds. The breeze itself speaks of purity and the skies give us the proof of infinity.
Always fascinated by such stories and the wish to visit such land someday , I along with my 2 besties decided to go higher in the mountains !!
Spiti ~ An Indian territory between Tibet and India , characterised as cold desert in the far northen India in the Himachal !!
And finally it all started from somewhere for 3 friends who are keen on exploring this beautiful planet we call Earth,to break-free from the routine for a stress-free life and to discover the path untraveled ..
Let us consider this as a tale of discovering a land less known, unheard of and completely diverse from our day to day lives.
GETTING READY :
Spiti can be discovered through 2 ways either by Shimla or by Manali. Either ways you have to hit on the road. We took the closer but tougher road (Manali) due to time constraints. Once we crossed the mighty Rohtang Pass, the air became cleaner, the roads got higher, the sky got bluer and the path became a rare combination of deadly and heavenly at the same time.
As we travel the road splits and one leads us to Leh and one to Spiti, The Chenab river was the only one accompanying us along our lonely but beautiful way. We stopped at Chatru for a garam-a-garam and much needed tea. Shivering because of the cold , mesmerised by the views and excited about the journey the 3 Of us were in our happiest state of minds.
There are very few villages or rather places where you can find human habitation that we came across while travelling to Spiti. Madhi, Gramphu, Chatadu, Battal to name a few. We were definitely prepared for an adventure but the narrow dimensions encountering natural waterfalls, water crossings of these waterfalls, the frequent bad patches made us feel ecstatic and sometimes insane too.
Up Above The World So High !!!
The high altitude is not just high is really quite high to handle. Once you cross Battal and approach Kunzum, the excitement begins. All the villages in Spiti Valley feel like perched on top !! All wobbly and super windy. Interestingly the route till Battal is challenging but the ones to later villages is not bumpy. You will fall in love with the views from such altitude. However, the wind at such height is strong enough to hurl your car to wobble.
Battal was finally a place where we found FOOD - after long. The very famous Chacha-Chachi Dhaba where the Chacha Chachi hosted many people who were caught there due to road mishaps. Chacha Chachi ( Uncle-Aunty in Indian language) are very sweet warm and affectionate. Chacha kept cracking jokes to freshen us up from the long journey. The hot dal-chawal and maggi was super tasty and yummy there.
Our driver was not very fond of Rohtang and kept telling us - Aage Kunzum Pass hain ,Rohtang kuch bhi nahi uske samne (Kunzum Pass is yet to Come and Rohtang is nothing as compared to Kunzum). Our eyes were wide open when we travelled through the Kunzum Pass , This is the most beautiful part of the Spiti road. Amongst the snow-capped beautiful mountains, with chilly winds driving you crazy, out of the world landscapes, foam like ice and a clean river running by ;Kunzum Pass tops the list of most beautiful places I have seen so far.
Lossar - The first & the chillest village in Spiti
We planned a stay at Lossar another small hamlet in Spiti as we were late to reach Kaza. Lossar is the first village in Spiti and is one of the chilliest village. We had already started to suffer from AMS due to high altitude and negative temperature in Lossar. The night in Lossar was full of adventure as the cold was unbearable for us whereas the locals kept insisting that it was summer time ???? . Lossar is said to experience temperatures as low as -35 degrees . We were initially hosted by locals and offered tea , it was their warm hospitality that won our hearts.
The houses in the entire Spiti valley are identical white coloured houses as if it is a protocol as if they portray unity as if they understand ONENESS.
Lossar - The chillest village ...
The Kaza Way !!!
The other day we started for Kaza after having heavy breakfast at Lossar. We noticed that our Appetite had increased unknowingly in Spiti as we easily gulped the parathas and maggie. The high altitudes ,hectic days somehow had added up to our food intake.
Road to Kaza is a mystery to unfold. The breathtakingly beautiful and "too good to be true" landscapes certainly missed our heartbeats and amused us to the epitome of our imagination. As we enter Spiti the sun gets harsh and wind gets chilly.It becomes such dangerous a combination that Shade gives you chills and sun burns the skin. Nevertheless there is something about the place that makes you realise that nothing but the purity of soul matters.
Spiti is also a land of monasteries .. We planned our first monastery visit to the Kye monastery . This beautiful monastery is positioned on a picturesque hilltop and is very close to the Spiti River.The gompas at Kye serve us with this traditional piping hot tea as a prasad we may say .. The view of and from Kye is (needless to say) stunning as well.
The beauty in itself, Kibber lies on the top of Spiti Valley at an altitude of 4205 m. The trademarked (characteristically) homes of Spitians, the beautiful landscapes, the wild Ibex makes it a fun village to explore. What we were excited about was about our visit to a local school in Kibber. We had carried a stationary items and chocolates for kids there. The delighted kids- their innocent joy , sweet whispers was a complete joy ride ????
Spiti has some (one of the) highest places in the world like the highest post office, highest motorable road at Hikkim , Kim koumik and Langza. Langza has a beautiful buddha statue facing the valley which can be described as nothing but simply serene.
Our day ended with such beautiful memories to cherish and some dizziness due to the high altitudes. Evening was fun as Kaza offers some coolest of cafes with amazing youthful vibes. Denzing and The Himalayan Cafe were the most happening and refreshing saviours to our exhausted souls with the best of the food and amazing traveller's vibes.. Our night was cosy with the best place, comfortable with heating pads under the bed and extremely warm because of the loving hospitality of the hosts at 'The Sakya Abode Home Stay' . We heard stories of people in Spiti, travellers and history of this dreamland from the locals and surrendered to the much needed rest and peaceful sleep.
The Last Day In Spiti
Practically our last day in Spiti and we decided to make the most of it . With a few disagreements with our driver we finally took the route that was lil risky. Starting our day with the Pin Parvati valley a land of cold mountain dessert on one side and lush green nature on the other. Pin valley is the Spiti side and Parvati valley the other side of it; It is this valley which is the base camp of numerous high altitude beautiful treks. The villages, landscapes, Pin river , Yaks, mountains and the vibrant sunlight simply mesmerised us to the core of the soul. This land is also famous for the wild Ibex and snow leopards in winters especially. By the Way Winter is the season here where temperature crosses the -30 degree mark.
The later part of the day was religious buddhist tour as we covered the very famous and extremely old Tabo and Dhangkar monasteries. Both these monasteries are characterized by their history, construction, scenic views and classic buddhist culture. The peace and serenity of the place can only be experienced by visiting these holy places. We were also an explorer of the last village of Spiti valley called as "Mud Village" which is a pictorial wonder to witness. There are places in Spiti where we find real crystals which are formed thousands of years before.
With these beautiful places , amazing memories and enchanting experiences & bag full of happiness,we concluded our Spiti exploration to return home .
An experience to cherish :
Spiti is not just a tourist spot, an adventure travel or some monument excursion- Spiti is truly an experience to cherish. The landscapes, sun, moon, stars, rivers, villages, monasteries, people in Spiti are something else. Rarely do we come across such things, places and people in our life. They say each travel makes you a different person but Spiti tour enlightens the traveller in you to an another level of sanity. This Himalayan gem is truly a diamond in India's crown and a wonderland of mysteries to the world.